One of the apparent aims of Brexit fans is to encourage closer economic and trading links with non-EU countries. And it looks like Triumph has begun to do just that, with today’s announcement of a tie-up with Indian bike firm Bajaj. The deal, released in India, seems aimed at giving Triumph some props in the vital small-capacity sector of the market, where it currently has nothing to offer.
The 250-300cc class is important in many ways across the world, and if Triumph could come up with something akin to the BMW G310R or Ducati 400 Scrambler, they could be onto a winner. Small bikes are a double win these days - they provide an entry-level pathway into your brand for novice riders in the wealthy markets of Europe and North America, while simultaneously giving you an ‘in’ to the gigantic markets in developing countries, where small-bore machines are king.
There are plenty of precendents for two-wheeled cooperation on the subcontinent of course. In the days of the British Empire, India was awash with Brit bikes, and the Royal Enfield brand ended up moving from Blighty to India altogether. It’s not Triumph’s first adventure into Asia either: the firm has a flourishing manufacturing base in Thailand, and many of the firm’s models have Thai-made components.
One potential complication is Bajaj’s relationship with KTM though. It’s a direct competitor to Triumph in several sectors - and Bajaj owns 47 per cent of the Austrian firm. It’s not clear to us why the Hinckley outfit would get into bed with a company that has such a close relationship with a competitor - but then we don’t have the planet-sized business brains which rule the top of UK industry, sadly…
There’s not been much info out of the West Midlands so far, but we’ll keep updating if we hear anything from the good souls of Hinckley. Regardless, if it all comes off, brace yourself for the arrival of the Bengal Tiger 300, 275 Street Singles and 355i Daytonas at your local Triumph dealer!